When a major opportunity presented itself, Victorian material transport firm LEEBO Transport Services jumped at the chance to expand its market offerings.
The company has serviced Victoria with its fleet of concrete agitators, trucks and trailers and tandem tippers since 2005, hauling primarily asphalt and quarry products. “We started off with just one concrete agitator and then we built up to about 15 of them. Last year, we started talking to a contractor about live bottom rigid trailers, and that’s how we got involved with Trout River,” says LEEBO Transport Services Owner and Director Tim Mellor.
Mr. Mellor says that prior to taking up a recent contract with a national road services contractor, they had talked to him about live-bottom trailers in general, which piqued his interest because of the safety aspects associated with a live bottom versus traditional tip trailer.
“We began looking around for options. We spoke to a firm in Sydney, but Trout River seemed to be the supplier that everyone in Victoria goes to, especially because they have a manufacturing site here,” he says.
“The fact they have a lot to do with other sub-contractors in Victoria means they are well aware of what is needed and required on those jobs.”
Trout River Australia has been a core player in the Australian live bottom trailer market for nearly a decade. It is the first firm to manufacture live bottom trailers for the Australian market and does so out of its Hallam site in Melbourne’s south east.
Following confirmation of its contract with a road services contractor, LEEBO Transport Services placed its order with Trout River in September last year.
Mr. Mellor says they wanted a customised live bottom rigid tub fitted with insulation down each side of the body to assist with temperature control when transporting asphalt, as well as rear and side lighting and a two-camera system.
“One of the main things for us in working with Trout River is that the trailer was being built here in Australia – we’re not playing Tic-Tac-Toe with companies overseas to try and get it done,” says Mr. Mellor.
Trout River, truck manufacturer Kenworth and LEEBO Transport Services were able to work together on producing the final product, which Mr. Mellor says has been a transparent process.
“As the truck was coming together we were able to look at all different stages of its construction – we could always see what was going on.”
At the end of February 2017, LEEBO Transport Services took delivery of the new unit, which commenced work almost immediately.
The final product is a live bottom, 6.2-metre-long, rigid tub fitted to a brand new Kenworth T359 unit. It’s painted with Black PPG two-pack paint and fitted with insulation and bolt-on aluminium dress panels.
Side and rear work lights and a two-camera kit bolster the safety measures integrated into the unit, which is also equipped with a Camilleri front to back tarp with a Razor Power Tarp.
The rigid unit will be predominantly used for asphalt transportation, as well as carting other raw material.
“It’s probably the nicest truck we’ve ever had – its something a bit different,” adds. Mr. Mellor.
He says his team is excited to commence works using the new live bottom unit given the efficiency and safety benefits that come with the technology.
Like its fleet of agitators, LEEBO Transport Services is starting out small with just one live-bottom trailer, although it has already placed its second order with Trout River.
“It’s a new area we’re trying to get into. We’ve got a second one coming and if there are other opportunities out there, we want to be prepared.”